Charlie Crist hires Nikki Fried’s political director to post-primary team

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Cramer Verde also holds positions with LULAC and the ACLU.

A key staffer for Nikki Fried’s gubernatorial campaign has now signed on to help Democratic nominee Charlie Crist.

Cramer Verde, president of the ACLU of Sarasota County, announced on Twitter he has joined Crist’s team as Deputy Political Director.

“Florida needs to unify and do everything it can to defeat (Ron) DeSantis,” Verde tweeted. “Let’s get Charlie Crist and Karla Hern?ndez elected!!!”

Verde previously served as political director for Fried, now Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner, until the Aug. 23 Democratic Primary. Crist won the Democratic nomination with 60% of the vote. That means Crist advances to take on the GOP incumbent, DeSantis, in the Nov. 8 General Election.

The hiring of Verde represents one of the more significant moves to unify the Democratic consulting world following a divisive Democratic Primary. Fried and Crist in the final stretch both invested in negative messaging about each other on the way to determining who would carry the Democratic standard in November.

While Crist prevailed, most polls show him narrowly losing to DeSantis, demonstrating the importance of unifying the party base before heading into November.

Verde has long been active in politics in the Sarasota area. In addition to leading the local ACLU chapter, he served for years as the marketing director of UnitosNOW. He also was involved in defeating a Sarasota County charter amendment that would have returned County Commission races to countywide contests two years after voters approved a change to single-member district elections.

He has in recent years become involved in state and national politics, including serving as the Southwest Florida political director for the last five months of President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign.

He’s also the Florida State Director for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). He previously served as LULAC Florida’s political director and before that as chair of immigration and civic participation.

In the private sector, Verde works as a Realtor with SRQ International Realty and owns Cramer Strategic Consulting.

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